Merry Christmas: a little update!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re well! 🙂

I can’t believe we’ve hit the end of 2016 already, where has the time gone? 2017 is going to be jam-packed for me as I’ll be celebrating a big 3-0 birthday, plus, getting married – how exciting!

The main point of this blog entry is because I wanted to let you all know that I’m going on a blogging break/hiatus. Life has been hectic as of late, so adding the ‘pressures’ of trying to read and review onto my agenda has meant I’ve ‘burnt-out’ a little. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, but the passion for life, in general, is low at the moment. I need to take a few weeks off to emotionally, as well as physically, get myself back on-track! I’m ok though, don’t panic – I just need time to chill, relax and drink loads of tea!

So, I bid you farewell and wish you all:

A VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

If you’ve sent me books as part of tours and publication promo’, I’ll most definitely still post (the majority are end of January anyway!).

In the words of Arnie: “I’ll be back!” (aiming for the second week of January).

Love and Books,

Clare xx

 

Blog Tour & Extract – Twister River by Siobhan MacDonald

Twisted River - Blog Tour

Happy Tuesday everyone, I hope you’re all having a good week so far 🙂 I’m super excited to be a part of the Twisted River blog tour! In this fun-packed post, you’ll be able to read an extract from the book, which will most definitely leave you wanting more!


Book Extract

Oscar
Curragower Falls, Limerick, Ireland
Late October

She would never have fit as neatly into the trunk of his own car. He presses two fingers against her beautiful neck. Just in case. No pulse. The blow was fatal. He looks at her one last time and closes the trunk.

Her blood is all over his hands. Oscar stares at the curious patterns forming on his pale skin. No latex gloves this time. He tries to think. In the cold he hardly moves, watching the tiny pearls of red slide down the coarse hairs to his wedding band. The burning in his stomach spreads upward to his chest. His control is slipping, his panicked breath forming small clouds in the dark. Oscar is in turmoil. From man to shivering animal in the space of three minutes.

Across the road, water rages over the falls. Oscar has felt like this before. It was a long time ago but the memory is vivid. In fourth grade, he punches Annabel Klein so hard in the stomach that she vomits. Another memory flashes before him. This time he’s standing over Birgitte, watching her die. Up the road, the church bells sound a mournful chime. What’s done is done.

There comes the sudden beat of wings. Looking up, Oscar sees an arrowhead of swans slicing through the night sky. A splutter of rain starts to fall, the drops making a tinkling sound on the plastic bags scattered at his feet. Shards of glass from a smashed jar of peanut butter mingle with exploded bags of popcorn. There’s a squashed banana— the flesh pulped from its skin— and a packet of brownie mix daubed in blood.

Should he look in the trunk of the car one more time to make sure?

He fumbles for the catch. It isn’t like his BMW. This is a VW sedan. The car they’d agonized in, attempting to sort things out. He’d so wanted to straighten things out. His fingers slip left and right, searching for the catch. The VW badge is smeared with blood. There it is. He squeezes with his thumb and forefinger.

“Dad?”

He freezes. He hadn’t seen the kids pick their way across the gravel.

“Elliot?”

His nine- year- old is shivering in pajamas in the driveway. Jess, his twelve- year- old daughter, is behind him.

“You’ve been gone a long time, Dad,” says Elliot.

It’s more a question than a statement.

Jess stands there, perplexed, eyes innocent and wide. He sees her scanning the debris of the grocery shopping all over the driveway. His children cannot know what just happened. They must be protected, no matter what. The roaring in his ears begins to build again. He wills his mouth into a smile, pulling his lips over his teeth. He hopes it looks convincing.

Jess’s face drains of color as she edges toward him. The sound in his ears is almost unbearable.

“What is it, Jess?”

He can see her mouth is moving. She is asking something.

“What did you say?” he shouts.

“Where’s Mom?” she shouts back.


image

The Blurb

Kate and Mannix O’Brien and their children live beside Curragower Falls in Limerick, Ireland, in a house they love but can barely afford. What her family needs, Kate decides, is a vacation. So when she sees a beautiful Manhattan apartment on a house swap website, it seems like a dream come true.

Oscar and his wife, Hazel, live with their two children in a gorgeous apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They too need a vacation, and Hazel has long wanted to take her children back to her native Limerick. The house swap seems like the perfect solution. But this is anything but an ideal vacation, and the discovery of a body is just the beginning.

Twisted River by Siobhán MacDonald is available now in eBook by Canelo.

Purchase on Amazon


clare
Connect with A Book and Tea!
Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Blog Tour & Guest Post: The Trials and Tribulations of an Unusual Name

Today, as part of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper blog tour, I am joined by author Phaedra Patrick who talks about ‘The Trials and Tribulations of an Unusual Name’.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper in a nutshell:

Having been married for over 40 years, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is mourning the loss of his wife. On the anniversary of her death, he finally musters the courage to go through her possessions, and happens upon a charm bracelet that he has never seen before.

Purchase: Amazon


The Trials and Tribulations of an Unusual Name

Phaedra PatrickRihanna, Beyonce, Apple and Harper – these days an unusual name is essential for grabbing attention. However, as a shy, studious Oldham schoolgirl in the eighties, I definitely didn’t want to stand out. Back then, I often wished I was called Lisa, Debbie, or even Dave.

My name is Phaedra, after Some Velvet Morning, a Nancy Sinatra song that not many people have heard of.  In Greek mythology, Phaedra was the wife of King Theseus. She fell in love with her stepson, Hipplytus, caused his death and then killed herself. The Nancy Sinatra connection is much less gory.

People read my name, I see their eyes glaze over, then they attempt, ‘Ffffff….’ as if they’re trying not to swear. I’ve been called Phoebe, Fedora (as in the hat), Deborah and, my personal favourite, Madeira Cake. ‘Tell him you’re called Louise,’ my mum, who gave me the name, used to whisper when we visited Father Christmas in his grotto. ‘Your middle name is easier.’

Each time I meet someone new, I have to explain how to say it, where it comes from and that, no, I have no Greek ancestry whatsoever. Nor am I Irish, as my surname and red hair suggest. It’s all very confusing.

Now I’m a writer, it’s rather nice to have a curious name. The late Peaches Geldof named her second son Phaedra, and Primal Scream and Kate Moss covered Some Velvet Morning, so it must be pretty cool. But how on earth do you say it? I prefer to use Phedra, with a flat ‘e’ as in ‘egg’. My friends from Oldham call me Phed. I’m fine with Phaydra too. But please never ever Pheedra. That’s a pronunciation too far.

About Phaedra
Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. She was inspired to write Arthur Pepper’s story by the memories of her own charm bracelet. She lives near Manchester with her husband and son.

Find out more about Phaedra: Author Website | Twitter | Facebook


I finished The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper at the weekend and I can honestly say the book has changed my life. I won’t reveal too much now as I’ll be posting a review sometime next week, but let’s just say life is worth living.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper blog tour banner


clare
Connect with A Book and Tea!
Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Little Black Penguin Books

image

I’m sure you’ve all seen the above, but if you haven’t, where have you been? Only joking, here’s the lowdown. For Penguin’s 80th birthday they released 80 classics from around the world to highlight just how amazing literature is! An additional 46 books were introduced in March so now there’s about 126.

The Penguin website says:

Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of the Penguin Classics list – from drama to poetry, from fiction to history, with books taken from around the world and across numerous centuries.

Sounds great, right?

And so for me the collection begins… I’ve decided that I’m going to purchase each one as little treats and at a price range of 80p to £2, how can you go wrong? I can’t wait to see the collection grow and look comfortable on my bookshelf.

I know there are ways to purchase the entire collection, but that’s no fun!

My favourite book I currently own has to be ‘The Book of Tea’ – fitting for my blog hehe.

Have you purchased any of the Little Penguin classics?


clare
Connect with A Book and Tea!
Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Book quote challenge: Day Three

Well, that was a quick challenge! Today is my last day of the ‘Book Quote Challenge’ and I’ve had lots of fun! I never expected it to be so difficult to find 9 book quotes to showcase to you all.

So here goes, it’s the last instalment:

“Being interesting isn’t important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of.”

– The Manifesto of how to be interesting, Holly Bourne

“Exuberance is not a trait of which I’m overly fond. I am not that fond of enthusiasm either.” – The Art of Letting Go, Anna Bloom

“Shoot for the moon, even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars.” – Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You

I’m not going to nominate just one person to participate, I open it to everyone! Get searching for them quotes.

image


Connect with A Book and Tea!
Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Book quote challenge: Day Two

I’m back for day two of the ‘Book quote challenge’.

If you’re unfamiliar with the challenge, you can find out all the details here.

Today’s quote selection is:

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”

– Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

“He used to say that one man couldn’t change the world, but he was wrong, he changed her world, made it a better place.”

– The Perfect Daughter, Amanda Prowse

“Home is now behind you, the world is ahead.”

– The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

Today, I nominate:
– Lisa from Lisa Talks About


Connect with A Book and Tea!
Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram